There is an old saying that has been worn out, warning criminals not to scare old men. But clichés are there because they have a piece of reality embedded. An active 73-year-old retiree was well liked in the neighborhood. He helped people out, and he spent considerable time in his garage, working on his truck. Some young criminals, just getting into the most active part of their career, also noticed the truck and decided they wanted it. The retiree had been a victim of robbery attempts before. Now he carried at home.
The armed homeowner was in his garage, working on his truck, when the suspects entered with their guns drawn. Everyone was armed with handguns.
One reporter said neighbors heard up to five gunshots.
The two bodies were found in the alley shown above. It is not certain if the garage shown in the picture, with the door on the alley side, is the garage where the shooting took place. It seems likely. From fox2now.com:
A 73-year-old man told police that he shot the suspects after they attempted to rob him. Investigators say that the man was inside of his garage when the suspects entered the door and displayed their guns. Police say that one of the suspects held a gun to the victim’s head and demanded the victim back up.
The victim said he got out his gun and, fearing for his safety, shot at the men. Police say that the victim’s gun and the guns used by the suspects were recovered from the scene. The gun recovered from Jonathan Warren was reported stolen on Sunday by the Florissant Police Department.
Neighbors tell FOX 2 that the Bevo neighborhood is a close-knit community and are shaken by the fatal shooting in their neighborhood. They also call the robbery victim a kind man who has lived in the neighborhood for a long time with his wife. They say the 73- year-old man would work hours on his truck in his garage and would help those in need in the community.
The two dead suspects were Jonathan Warren, 18, and Lonnie Middlebrook, 20. Both already had significant criminal histories. From stltoday comments:
Case.net shows these two were certainly not on the path to stellar citizenship. Middlebrook already had charges pending on unlawful possession of a firearm over the summer. The other guy had charges for elder abuse and property damage with intent to steal. Plus it looks like they both had several run-ins with MetroLink.
The retiree was not hit. It is not clear who fired how many shots, but the 73-year-old fired at least two. Police say it appears to be clear-cut self defense, and no charges are expected.
The shooter and his wife are upset, but not in the hospital.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.